DEFENDER Jack Furzer scored the all-important goal as Bideford battled in the mud on Boxing Day for a 1-0 Southern League Premier Division victory away to old foes Frome Town.

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Furzer shot through a crowded penalty area for the 62nd minute goal to bring the North Devon Robins bobbing back with a victory over the Somerset Robins

Bideford were worthy winners and could well have wrapped up the points much earlier, but for missed chances.

Wing man Sean Downing set the scene when he hit the post in the opening minute. He also saw a headed chance go wide and Rob Farkins and Kevin Squire also both went close in the opening half.

Another good run saw the winger brought down in the box, but the resulting penalty by Matt Hockley was well saved by home keeper Darren Chitty and the game remained goalless at the break.

The home side made a determined start to the second half and forced two good saves from Bideford keeper Paul Hider before Furzer broke the stalemate.

A solid Bideford defence defied Frome’s efforts to fight back and also the difficult conditions as they held out for the win, which sees them with four wins, a draw and just one defeat in their past six league matches.

This continues their steady climb away from the bottom of the table, with six teams now below them and a tightly-packed mid-table just above.

Before their Boxing Day meeting, Bideford had re-signed former player Ben Wood from Frome Town.

Speedy winger Wood was part of the Bideford squad which gained promotion last season before leaving in the summer to join the Somerset side.

But he did not play a part in the festive clash following agreement between the club managers.

Bideford were due to entertain Weymouth at the Sports Ground yesterday (Tuesday) before the revitalised side visit old adversaries Gosport Borough on Saturday in a bid to avenge earlier league and cup defeats at their hands this season.

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